The legacy of LeBron James almost was way different. In 2007, he elected to pass to Donyell Marshall in lieu of attempting a contested shot at the rim while a defender with the wingspan of a pterodactyl clung to his hip, with two more closing in on either side of him. Many forget the pass just 10 seconds before that, when he was double teamed in the post and kicked out to Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Both teammates missed with a chance to win the game, LeBron didn’t take a shot in the final 90 seconds, and he didn’t score in the final six minutes. In a world before Twitter, Skip Bayless, or the iPhone, the chatter was still immediate and deafening. LeBron’s heart and killer instinct were questioned, and even back then he remained steadfast in his beliefs.
“I go for the winning play,” James said at the time. “If two guys come at you and your teammate is open, then give it up. Simple as that.”